Saturday, February 13, 2021

Helping our patients overcome perfectionism with the “Angry Bird” metaphor


In counseling work, I often see folks with the triad features of unrelenting standards together with self criticism and the fear of failure. This “triad” is a guarantee for excessive stress and suboptimal performance.

So how can we improve it?

We can consider the “Angry Bird” metaphor.

Life is sometimes like playing Angry Birds. We have a specific target or goal. We do the best we can. We fail. We self reflect rather than self criticize. We approach it at a different angle. We repeat the process until final success. We stay present and enjoy the process.

Getting it right every time is not the aim either, because that would simply be too boring isn’t it?

So aim high. Have a go and prepare to fail often, but review, reflect, learn, get a new plan, and reimplement often. The more we fail, the better we get. Most importantly, be present and enjoy the process ...

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